“People need to support refugees” – Year 9s have their say
Last term, Year 9 students completed a unit on protest poetry, where they learned about how some poems try to create change in society by highlighting injustice. We looked at Brian Bilston’s poem ‘Refugees’ and discussed how Bilston uses the structure of his poem to depict negative perceptions of refugees, and to encourage us to express empathy towards them. We further discussed what empathy might mean, and why it’s important to try and imagine how other people might feel, even if you have never experienced a situation like that yourself.
As we were learning about this poem, we heard from the Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU), an organisation in Manchester which supports refugees and asylum seekers. They asked for persuasive letters, urging people to support refugees instead of turning them away.
Year 9 wrote some beautiful letters about the importance of kindness and empathy towards refugees. After some careful deliberation, GMIAU selected three letters written by Elle, Cassie and Morgan to be displayed on their website and Twitter page. Elle wrote about how refugees ‘are in a lot of danger, which they can’t escape due to the corrupt system’. Cassie expressed the belief that ‘we should all have empathy for one another’, and Morgan expressed that she cares about refugees because ‘safety is a basic human right – everybody deserves it’.
The letters have since been ready many times on Twitter and the GMIAU website, and got a lot of positive responses. Well done to Elle, Morgan and Cassie for making a difference!
You can read all three letters in full here.